Another developer has requested changing Hilton Head’s zoning laws, this time to allow a multilevel storage-unit building in the Sea Pines Circle District.
The town Planning Commission this week approved the change, which could allow a storage facility of up to 55,000 square feet per net acre — five times the size of other structures allowed in the area. Approval from the Public Planning Committee, along with the Town Council, is still needed.
On Tuesday, the Town Council approved a zoning change, following a different developer’s request, that will allow “lock-out” units in timeshares, despite concerns from residents living near a proposed site on the island’s north end.
Just a day later, the Planning Commission approved the zoning change for storage units on the island, according to Teri Lewis, the town’s land management ordinance officer. She said the request came from developer Jack Coupland, who has proposed building a facility on Palmetto Bay Road near the Sea Pines Circle.
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Specifics about how tall Coupland’s proposed building would be and other project details were not immediately known.
Council member David Ames voted against the zoning change for the timeshare lock-outs, saying he disagreed with amending zoning laws for developer requests. Contacted Friday, he said he wanted to keep an open mind about the proposed change for storage units but had some concerns.
“My cautions and concerns still apply,” Ames said. “There are a number of aspects of this proposed amendment that raise questions in my mind on how it fits into the existing and future usage of the Sea Pines district.”
Others have concerns about what will happen to existing businesses on the property where the proposed storage-unit facility would be located.
Town staff told the Planning Commission on Wednesday that the developer plans to remove all of the buildings lining Palmetto Bay Road and replace them, according to town documents.
Stan Allaben, co-owner of Palmetto Bikes Inc., which is located on the property in question, said Friday he is uncertain what will happen if his business has to move.
“We have no problem with a storage facility, but we have looked all over the island and couldn’t find any other area to rent our bicycles from,” he said.
Lewis said proponents of the zoning change believe the proposed storage-unit building would yield less traffic compared to other types of businesses in the often-congested Sea Pines area. The building also wouldn’t look like a traditional storage-unit facility, she said.
“Multilevel storage facilities don’t have the roll-up doors visible,” she said. “You can’t rent spaces outside for boats and RVs.”
Opponents of the zoning change are concerned about the size and density of Coupland’s proposed building, Lewis said. She said changing the zoning law would affect development across the island.
“It would be allowed in any parcel in any of the three zoning districts — light industrial, light commercial and Sea Pines Circle District,” she said.
A special exception would need to be approved by the town Zoning Board of Appeals if Coupland’s proposed building is constructed in the Sea Pines Circle District, Lewis said.